The Chaos of Longing is a collection of poems written by K. Y. Robinson. The poems are centred around Robinson’s personal struggles with mental illness, trauma, and love. The poems are divided into four parts which seem to tell a loose story about a girl who has been in a series of toxic relationships beginning with feelings of being used and hints at sexual abuse that culminates into an “epiphany” that she is stronger than her past experiences.
K. Y. Robinson is a very secluded author. Though she does share that she is a university-educated writer from Houston, Texas. It is obvious from her writing that she is a woman of high emotional intelligence and has suffered through trauma no one should be subjected to. One of the most beautiful things about human beings though is our ability to turn our suffering into art. Robinson seems to find this an easy task as she pens poem after poem of raw emotion and eloquent literature.
When I picked up this book, I was processing some of my own traumatic experiences. Some of Robinson’s poems are inspired by the difficulties that come with being a woman of colour. As I am not identifiably a woman of colour I cannot bring myself to claim a thorough understanding of these difficulties, however aware of their existence I may be. I can relate to some of her other inspirations, especially those regarding emotional abuse and toxic relationships as well as sexual assault. For me, attempting to work on some parts of my past that have been haunting me has been a years-long struggle. This collection did help me settle on some feelings I’ve had and while I may not be worked through them entirely, there is some comfort in knowing that I am not alone in these feelings. I am sure anyone else who has experienced any form of hard times could find some solace in the pages of Robinson’s debut work. I would whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone who is dealing with their own battles with trauma, mental illness, and racism.
This is the first time I have ever really attempted to read poetry. I found the book certainly easy to get through, even through some tears and sobs, since poems tend to take up less space than narrative. However, I’m still unsure whether or not poetry will become a staple on my shelves. I have received many recommendations for Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey and may seek that out next.
If you have any suggestions for poetry or any other piece of literature that deals with this kind of material, please let me know in the comments!
(photo retrieved from @andresmcmeel via Instagram)